Pakistan Sees COVID-19 Cases Decline, Travel Restriction Lifted

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

28th Jun, 2021. 10:13 am
Pakistan Sees COVID-19 Cases Decline, Travel Restriction Lifted

While the situation of COVID-19 is improving in most countries of the world including Pakistan, the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) has decided to regularize international air travel, followed by the United Kingdom, Europe and Canada. Direct flights from China and Malaysia will increase by 40%.

On the other hand, less than a thousand cases have been recorded in the country for the second day in a row and the death toll in the last 10 days has been less than 50.

According to an NCOC document, direct flights from the UK, Europe, Canada, China and Malaysia, which used to be 20 per cent, will be increased to 40 per cent from July 1.

It states that existing testing protocols will remain the same for all categories of countries before and after boarding, however, the need for in-house quarantine for cases of Negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) has been eliminated. However, those who test positive will have to go through quarantine according to the procedure.

Pakistan introduced three categories – A, B and C – in October last year to deal with COVID-19, a National Health Services (NHS) official said.

“Category A countries are exempt from coronavirus tests. Category B countries are required to have a negative PCR test 72 hours before the trip, while Category C countries are required to have a negative result,” he said. Visitors face restrictions and are only allowed under NCOC guidelines.

The official added that 38 countries, including India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Brazil, are currently in the C category, while others have been placed in the B category.

Following this decision, the NCOC has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pass this information on to all its High Commissions and Embassies and urge them to inform Pakistani residents.

An NHS ministry official said it had been decided that people would have to live in quarantine facilities after being exposed to different types of viruses in the UK, India and South Africa.

It was later decided that they would stay in their homes in quarantine even if their tests were negative.

“However, this condition has now been removed for those who test negatively,” he said. On a positive note, they will have to quarantine their homes instead of government facilities, a decision that has been made after a reduction of 19 cases in most parts of the world.

He added that “about 1.5 lakh people were infected in India every day but now the situation there has improved considerably.”

In response to a question, the official expressed hope that things would continue to return to normal, but that the fourth wave of the virus would change.

Following the decision of the NCOC, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority issued notices to all concerned agencies.

The notice said that “in view of the recent improvement in the situation of Code 19 in different parts of the world, there has been a review of the reduction in landing flight operations for Pakistan at the international level”.

It said direct flights from Europe, the UK, China, Malaysia and Canada to Pakistan’s airports have been increased by 20 per cent in 2020 approved 2021 schedule.

Meanwhile, NCOC figures show that in the last 24 hours, 23 people have died from the virus and 901 more have been infected.

It should be noted that the number of deaths has been less than 50 since June 14.

The data shows that the number of active cases is 32,241 while 2,197 patients are being treated in hospitals out of which 253 are on ventilators.

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